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Classical High School

Public | 9-12


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42 reviews of this school

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Posted April 6, 2006

My three kids are recent Classical grads - all got into top schools. CHS is not a good place for student who wants to get by. This is a school for motivated students who know where they are going. APs - one of my kids had a whole year of college credit. The students not only take AP, but actually score high on AP exams (not true of some schools!) The building is rapidly deteriorating from starvation budgets. There are a few faculty who would definitely not be there except for union rules about seniority, but in general the teachers are committed and capable. Compared to other schools -- April 2006 CHS won their 10th State Science Competition in 11 years - in 2004 they won 16 golds there, the rest of the state combined, 6 golds. Those team members went on to Harvard, Dartmouth, Brown, and other top schools.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 29, 2006

I would like to start this review by saying that I am not a 'slackoff' and I definitely did do my work during my time at Classical. I am currently attending an Ivy League University. I do not, however, believe that the quality of academic programs at Classical is good. There are a handful of devoted teachers, and that is about it. Teachers don't encourage students to think outside the box and do not present meangingful challenges. The administrators, for the most part, do not encourage students in any way. There is a good selection of extracurricular activities.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted December 18, 2005

I am currently a sophmore at classical (class of 2008!). Classical is an inner city public school so it is not the most gorgeous school on the inside or out. I know a lot of people that transfer from private school to classical because it is a better education. Its in the city so that everyone from different backgrounds can have the opportunity to go. It is a very good school and teachers vary. Our athletics program is unbelieveable, this fall season alone girls tennis won division 4, girls volleyball won the state championship, boys and girls soccer won states too, etc. Classical has given me the opportunity to challenge myself offering 14 ap courses and many extra curricular activities. Socially it has no popularity issues, everyone is friends with everyone so I love it. It's main goal and focus is college and preparing their students.
—Submitted by a student

Posted November 9, 2005

I'm a freshman at Classical High School, and I think the school is generally great. Almost all of the teachers I know give the right amouint of work to students- not too little to not learn anything, and not too much to stress you out. I've learned that everyone in the school is respectful, and willing to give a helping hand. Althought some students ARE slackers, the educational benefits of CHS are there for the students who want them. I, for example, am one of the many freshman who is getting straight A's. Some of the students just don't want to work, and you shouldn't blame the rest of the school for their lazyness.Also, the extacurricular activities are great. There's a wide variety to choose from, and everyone will find something they like.
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 2, 2005

I'm a senior at Classical and preparing for college has been a big hassle. Classical has prepared me very well. The guidance counselors have helped me with college searches as well as having colleges that I have interest in, visit the school. I'd say that the quality of the academic program is very good. Because of Classcial, I've been able to scratch some classes of my list for college. My school has a huge number of extracurricular activities. I myself participate in two of these activities. It gives me something to do after school that is not just for my benefit but others aswell. The activity that I'm in helps to raise money for several causes including Hurrican Katrina. There is always something at Classical that anybody can participate in such as yearbook, sports, Brotherhood and others that are to many to name. Classical's the best school in my opinion.
—Submitted by a student

Posted September 27, 2005

This school is acctually very great. I didn't expect it to be this way. Everyone is so polite too one another not like in my middle school. I've enjoyed my few weeks there so far. The teachers I have are great. And the work they give isn't really hard but just challenging. All they want is the students to reach their capacity. But it is easy to get along wit people. There are also alot of activities to join. Also must of the students who got excepted are exceedingly smart so if you do manage to get in you have to work very hard. But if this school helps us on the right track to college then all the work is worth it. This is one of the best schools to come. They teach us discipline . If you are considering this school then that's good. I reccomend Classical High.
—Submitted by a student

Posted September 3, 2005

I am a sphomore at Classical High School and it has been my greates learning experience. Classical High School is the most achieving school in the state of Rhode Island. It is a school with great discipline, great attendace, good teachers and Great academic achievemnts. Most of the people are there to work and want to have a good future. Mostof the teachers are good and what to help students but a few of them just make you read and give you work, they do not encourage you. This is a great school. All the students that have talked badly about this school are just slackoffs who come late to class and don't want to do their job and when they get a bad grade they blame it on the teachers. I also can't believe their parents back them up on that.
—Submitted by a student

Posted June 6, 2005

Classical is definitely NOT what it is meant to be. Teachers don't care anymore (except for a selected handful of indeed wonderful ones), the academics are slaking off and the expectations dropped way down. It was so much better when one had to maintain B average to stay in that school, then students really paid attention and studied hard. Now it's just like any other public school in Providence. And have anyone ever looked inside the school? it's disgusting! The ceiling tiles are broken and fall down easily, there s always rust and some mold on the walls, no AC, the tunnel wall is beyond words, and half of the school is not even being used! IT'S A SHAME!
—Submitted by a former student

Posted May 4, 2005

Another recent graduate, 2004! Mr. Wemple is the hardest teacher I had ever had, but he was the best. I am one of the only few who has left New England and I am truely glad that I participated in two AP courses as well as all the others that prepared me for this journey.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted March 22, 2005

I am a recent graduate of classical high school class of 2004. classical prepared me well for college. other students at my college do not have the same prepatory backround I have. the students for the most part know what their goal are at classical. to go to college. classical is not for the student who does not want to do anything in their future. i had many good teachers . a few were lacking though. classical has the best biology teacher Mr.Wemple and the best histroy teeahers who well- prepared me for college. the only sad part about classical is the want to always down size. the music program which got students invloved and gained many of classical's students scholarshps was recent dropped, which very wrong because the music program at classical helped get me get into college.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted February 25, 2005

I am a freshman, and I also found Classical to be very different from what I expected. Classical is not as challenging/hard as it sounds, if you procrastinate or don't do your work, then it gets hard. There are good teachers who care and give you a good uderstanding and then there are teachers who ignore you, don't/can't teach, and don't even think about encouragement. The people in the office and guidance do everything but their job and don't care except for a few people. The students themselves are involved in the great atheltic, artistic, and extracurricular activites Classical has to offer. These activities held during and after school make Classical fun. The school has few to no problems discipline wise. Classical is great not because of the education or teachers, but students.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 26, 2005

The quality of the class varies completely from teacher to teacher.
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 26, 2004

A remarkable school which excels in providing the best academic experience for each student. Each year graduating students attend top universities throughout the United States. Classical is also superb in its selection extra-curricula activities and maintaining competitive sports teams.
—Submitted by a student

Posted September 27, 2004

The only reason this school is not what it once was is due to the poor management of principal Thomas Mezzanotte. The school was the same as it always had been until he took over. He had his own personal agenda when he came to Classical and he is frustrated by his own inability to realize his dreams. He has been taking it out on the school, the faculty, and the students for many years.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted August 25, 2004

The teachers at Classical on a whole are average, with a few caring, well prepared professionals thrown in to give the school a somewhat middle/marginal grade. Most are lazy, poor role models, and really only care about the pay-check and the guidance dept. is a laugh, try and get a problem solved in fresh./soph. yr. no way around the lack of help there. An experience with them is almost a comical. If I could chose again a school for my children I would go with PAIS or one of the other public schools because why waste time trying to be special when you don't have the foundation any longer at Classical like years ago.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted August 21, 2004

The vast majority of students at Classical are there to learn. However, many students think they can do nothing in class and deserve an A! And their parents actually back them up! Thode students who complained on this page are most likely those that simply sit like lumps or arrive late every day and never make up missed work and do little if any studying. There are times I honestly wonder how some of those kids ever made it into this fine school. If they cant write a paragraph, how on earth did they score well on the Entrance Exam?!
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted August 11, 2004

I'm a senior at Classical, and as someone on the inside, I can honestly say that it's not the school that I thought it would be when I got accepted. Many of the teachers don't care about the students, as a matter of fact, several of my teachers have even said to their students that 'We don't have to learn, they get paid either way.' Granted, students also aren't as merited as they once were, but we also lack the encouragement that teachers should give their students.
—Submitted by a student

Posted July 21, 2004

Classical shines on, meagerly. Once held as the best the city has to offer, its reputation has diminished and justly. Its interesting how a school that boasts the brightest still treats them like grade school children and how the community loves to talk about Classical with pride in public, but feels no urge to save the school before it becomes like every other high school in the city or the country that matter. I took the best I can out of it, that much is possible for now. How can students be expected to become scholars in a very difficult challenging world when they are denied the opportunity to see how far they can excel? The fact they will cancel the Latin program is proof that Classical is not the shining beacon of higher learning it once was.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted July 20, 2004

I would rate it good overall. Classical is excellant for college preparation. Both myself and my child attended Classical. Most graduates go on to college. Students do receive a lot of homework, and as with any other school there are some bad teachers (mainly in the math department), but there are also many good ones in other subjects. Though I would not encourage students with learning disabilities to attend. There is not much support if you have a different learning style, or if you stay from the intellectual 'norm'. Students receive hours and hours of homework, but when they graduate they are very well prepared for college. Classical also has an above average guidance department. The school also has many students from diverse cultural backgrounds.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 14, 2004

For providing me an education, Classical is extremely lacking. It's consistantly suffering due to local school policy which has given jobs to some of the most incompetant teachers I have ever had to tolerate. For now, classical still has a few good teachers, and an excellent arts program, as well as an extremely active and diverse afterschool community. It is when you discount the administration that Classical is at it's best, a chance for some of the best and brightest students in Rhode Island to collaborate and learn from eachother. But there's certainly very little to take away from a class at Classical. I have seen good students' grades decline due to boredom and extremely poor teachers, and have known recently a few who have chosen to switch to private schools as a result. If Classical is the best school in Providence, that's an insult to the entire school system.
—Submitted by a student

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.

Grade level


The state average for Math was 34% in 2014.

306 students were tested at this school in 2014.









The state average for Reading was 79% in 2014.

299 students were tested at this school in 2014.









The state average for Science was 30% in 2013.

294 students were tested at this school in 2013.





The state average for Writing was 50% in 2014.

298 students were tested at this school in 2014.








Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests

In 2013-2014 Rhode Island used the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in reading and math, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. GreatSchools ratings currently reflect 2013 test data; the ratings will be updated when the latest NECAP science data is made public and available in the summer of 2014. The NECAP is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Rhode Island. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education


All Students62%
Black or African American43%
Hispanic or Latino54%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)78%
Economically disadvantaged students57%
Not economically disadvantaged students67%
Title I62%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities62%
Limited English proficiency (LEP)n/a
Proficient in English62%
Not migrant62%


All Students98%
Black or African American100%
Hispanic or Latino99%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)98%
Economically disadvantaged students99%
Not economically disadvantaged students98%
Title I98%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities99%
Limited English proficiency (LEP)n/a
Proficient in English98%
Not migrant98%


All Students77%
Black or African American71%
Hispanic or Latino78%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)80%
Economically disadvantaged students78%
Not economically disadvantaged students75%
Title I77%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities77%
Limited English proficiency (LEP)n/a
Proficient in English77%
Not migrant77%
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests

In 2013-2014 Rhode Island used the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in reading and math, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. GreatSchools ratings currently reflect 2013 test data; the ratings will be updated when the latest NECAP science data is made public and available in the summer of 2014. The NECAP is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Rhode Island. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

The different student groups are identified by the Rhode Island Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Hispanic 44% 22%
White 25% 64%
Black 18% 8%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 9% 3%
Two or more races 2% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students participating in free or reduced-price lunch program 60%N/A43%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

What makes a great teacher? Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher. Here are some characteristics to look for »


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770 Westminster St
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 456-9145


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